Did You Know...
- Between 2014-2018, Christmas tree fires caused an annual average of 2 civilian deaths, 14 civilian injuries, and $10.3 million in property damage.
- About 19 million Americans who will decorate Christmas trees this season, will cut them down themselves or buy them pre-cut at a tree lot.
- Trees can become fully engulfed in a matter of seconds, then ignite everything in the path of the flames.
- Christmas tree fires ignite when needles become brittle due to under-watering.
- Electrical problems are the source of nearly half of Christmas tree fires.
- Heat sources, such as a candle or heating equipment placed too close to the tree, caused 22% of home, Christmas tree fires.
- 3/4 of Christmas tree fires occur in December or January.
- 2 out of every 5 home Christmas tree fires, start in the living room.
Top Safety Tips
- Make sure the tree is fresh; the trunk should be sticky to the touch and branches should not easily snap when you bend them.
- Shake the tree and make sure many loose needles do not fall off as a result.
- Before bringing your tree indoors, make a 1/2 fresh cut on the bottom of trunk and let it stand in a bucket of water outside for 12 hours before bringing indoors and placing in its stand.
- Check the water in the tree stand daily. Make sure the tree isn’t blocking any exits and keep it at least three feet away from heat vents or other heat sources.
- Artificial trees should be labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory.
- Make sure all decorations are flame-retardant or flame-resistant.
- Do not overload extension cords and electrical outlets.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections.
- Connect no more than 3 strands of mini-string lights together at one time.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
- Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or placed outside the home.